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The Harvard Family Research Project separated from the Harvard Graduate School of Education to become the Global Family Research Project as of January 1, 2017. It is no longer affiliated with Harvard University.

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This paper was developed by the Office of Head Start National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement for the Office of Head Start. This Center is a partnership between Brazelton Touchpoints Center at Children’s Hospital Boston and Harvard Family Research Project, with the Council of Chief State School Officers, National PTA, and Save the Children as active members of the leadership team. Contributors to the paper were Heather B. Weiss, M. Elena Lopez, Deborah R. Stark, Joshua D. Sparrow and Catherine Ayoub.

Both families and early childhood staff have important information to share with each other about a child’s development: Staff-conducted assessments provide parents with a comprehensive picture of their child’s progress, while a family’s observations about their child can give teachers and staff clues about development and learning progress at home. Sharing information better prepares families to partner with programs to improve child outcomes and, in this way, child learning and development become shared responsibilities of families and staff.

Ongoing Child Assessment and Family Engagement provides strategies for early childhood programs to effectively share data with families; highlights how to make data understandable, meaningful, and actionable; and illustrates how this data can support a child’s learning throughout early childhood, from birth to school entry.

This paper is the first in a series that will help early childhood care and education programs identify ways that they can share information in order to strengthen partnerships and work toward common goals.

HFRP is one of the partner organizations forming the Office of Head Start National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement (NCPFCE), which will identify and disseminate evidence-based best practices to Head Start programs across the country. Learn more about this project and HFRP's work with Head Start and Early Head Start programs here.


© 2016 Presidents and Fellows of Harvard College
Published by Harvard Family Research Project